How are you doing outlining your new habits? Are you tracking habits you want to break? Here’s a cheat sheet to help you focus and make change happen in your life. Download the worksheet below
Want your life to be different? then you have to do the work of making small shifts in your daily habits to form new routines that get you where you want to go.
Now that Friday is almost done, how did your 1st week of the new year go? Many of us want to accomplish so much, but forget to take time to review what we’ve done to see how we got where we are.
Not to blame, shame, or feel bad, but to take a true honest inventory of ourselves – thoughts, behaviors, interactions/connections, and projects we’ve worked through – so we can better prepare for next week.
Tonight take a moment to review and rate yourself how’d you do last week? Did you meet your goals? Where could you do better, where did you soar?
Jot down some notes about what worked and what didn’t so you know what to improve on for next week.
Change happens in small increments, small 10% increments. When we take the time to review and make the corrections necessary to remain focused on our goals we increase our chances of success. It also helps us shift our lifestyle and find the joy in the experience of change rather than stay stuck and overwhelmed by the doing of it.
Tonight, take a moment to examine your last 7 days, make note of at least 1 thing you did well and 1 thing you want to shift. Then determine a small shift you can make in the direction you want to go. Remember, all you have to focus on is doing the action that makes the most sense in this moment, it doesn’t have to be anything big or bold, just 1 small step in the direction you want to go.
Want 2019 to be the best ever? Then you have to self-regulate and take responsibility for your experiences. So many of us want to have wonderful times, yet are not proactive in our daily routines. As a result, we are not ready for whatever life has in store for us. We are tired, feel “heavy” and lethargic, put ourselves and others down with negative comments/thoughts, and feel bored in our life. We call it stress or overwhelm, because we can not seem to check everything off our to do list or accomplish all we are dreaming of after getting lost in the daily grind of getting through the day. Instead just floating from event to event as though we have no control in the process of creating our life.
To be successful in life we have to stop playing the victim of our circumstances and instead play the master. We have to become self regulated, taking full responsibility for the activities that help us maintain that balance. People who learn to self regulate are more successful in many areas of their lives – from work to relationships to feeling more happy everyday.
Self regulation is the ability to stay connected to your experience giving just what is needed in each moment while meeting the moment accurately. We do this by practicing activities that help us stay focused on healthy relationships and interactions.
“Self–regulation can be defined in various ways. In the most basic sense, it involves controlling one’s behavior, emotions, and thoughts in the pursuit of long-term goals. More specifically, emotional self–regulation refers to the ability to manage disruptive emotions and impulses”.Verywell Mind, Nov 25, 2018
In order to create the best interactions possible in any given situation you have to be able to think. This means your brain (notably the pre-frontal cortex) has to stay fully online. You need the centers of the brain known as executive functioning to help you plan, predict, and respond appropriately. However they will go offline if your emotions are too strong. Emotions are just information and intelligence telling you about your environment and how to respond to it. They are quicker than cognitions and therefore the brain uses them to inform your thinking. When your emotions are overwhelming your brain cannot regulate well and you’ll react rather than respond to what is going on around you. Often the responses are based on old patterns of learning and may not be appropriate in the current relationship, be it with your partner or the customer service rep on the phone. When we do not handle situations well in the moment we often feel shame and guilt, which contribute to a cycle of self destructive behaviors and actions that blow up the very relationships we want/need to be supportive. We have to keep ourselves in check if we are going to have healthy relationships.
When you think about creating healthy relationships it starts with a healthy relationship with yourself. Taking care of others includes taking care of yourself first. I cannot engage well with you if I cannot engage well with me. To do this begin by determining what you need to feel you best.
- How much sleep do you need?
- What foods give you the most energy?
- How much and what kinds of exercise leave you feeling blissed out and ready for anything?
As you determine what you need to be your best self, you begin to meet the needs of others too. You become better at noticing where they are and what they truly want and need in the present moment. You become better at reflecting those needs back to them and this helps you create stronger more authentic connections.
These deeper connections are something we all crave. They actually help us build our brain structures, increase our immune response, and live longer. These brain structures help us engage more thoroughly in everything from learning to experiences to rest thus creating a more vibrant and full life. As we create a more rich daily experience we create more authentic interaction with any given experience.
I know this video looks at teaching children in the classroom … but it’s good for all of us
As we deepen our practices of what keeps us well, we meet the challenges of our life with grace. For example if I have taken care of myself and I am feeling grounded – no physical illness, I am not hungry, I am well rested, I have energy, and feel physically strong – I will be able to handle more of life’s little stressors. As I competently deal with the little stressors I am “clearing my plate” so things do not pile up and become “big fucking deals”.
At this level of engagement, things flow and relationships grow deeper. I am taking care of me so my health is better and I am stronger for everything I need and want. Everyday.
How do you stay fit on vacation? Strict plans or throw it all out the window? Here’s ideas when far away or nearby spots are calling.
When most of us think of vacation we think about throwing routine out
the window. This is important work. We need to break from routine to begin the process of letting go and rejuvenating. It is also important to have some form of structure in out day, even if minimal. If you are reading this blog I assume you find physical activity to be important in your daily life, even if you don’t know how to make that a regular occurrence. So here’s a guideline to help find exercise balance on your vacation.
This week’s idea for healthy living = PLANNING
It’s Fall, back to school, and illness season. So planning will be key. If you haven’t paid things forward it will matter that you determine your strategy to get through the season and how to maintain workouts if you get ill. How will you adjust your schedule for busy days or days/weeks you feel like crap. Falling completely off the wagon doesn’t seem to be the best option because most have trouble getting back on – Damn horse ran fast after I fell off – SO … here are some tips for planning balance in your life.
1) Determine what you can do – maybe you usually workout an hour but the first week of school or during a big project it might be 30min a day or 2 15min segments. Maybe find activities that you can include for calorie burn like parking and walking or picking events with friends that include activities to participate in.
2) Pay attention to food – if you aren’t working out as much or hard you may need to cut back on calories – often easier when sick than during a busy time. So just notice and maybe choose the salad and lean chicken, smaller portions, or eating less snacks throughout the day – don’t go too long between meals or you’ll tank your blood surgar.
3) Know this is how healthy living works – life happens, we get sick, go on vacation, have a whole town party for a week where we dress up. Give yourself a break and keep postive. This is the stuff that makes life worth living and if you can strike the balance between healthy eating, working-out, and living you are doing it. Your horse won’t take off with your wagon – you’ll have no trouble living the fitness lifesytle if you have put some effort into planning for life.
So, I was noticing on my way out to the car mid morning … that is smells different outside. Tis the season of …
Parking and Walking!!! Yeah. Yeah. Yeah!!!! The ice is gone and may not return in full force (to cover our parking lots) till the leaves fall again.
I’m sure that’s not the seasonal name you were thinking I was going to say. So now that I’ve got your attention and before you list all the reasons you can’t walk more hear me out.
In order to lead a more healthy lifestyle you must add physical activity (PA) into your day. PA is about doing more throughout your day that gets your body moving AND the small things add up. Below is a chart from the 2008 physical activity guidelines http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/chapter1.aspx
You can see adding as little as 150 min / week of medium level of activity brings some to substantial health benefits.
Below the table are definitions of intensity levels. If you are wondering about intensity levels; how to figure out your ideal low, moderate, high ranges l can help you do that. Otherwise go with the concept that low you can hold a conversation about the flowers, medium you can say a sentence about them, probably sweating and your breathing is getting heavier, and high you are speedy, their colors are blending together, you aren’t commenting much on them one way or the other but you are sweating and breathing hard.
AND before you say I don’t have 150min to give up each week, I’m already too busy. Here’s some ways:
PARK AND WALK. I don’t park by the bus stop because I love the asphalt. I do it because I can. I can pay it forward. I know someday I’ll have to park closer. It allows me to fit more activity into my busy days and the view is nice walking into our Bodo building.
Get up every 90 min and walk around your worksite – outside or in doesn’t matter just move.
Do desk yoga – It helps with repetive movements, getting us grounded for our next clt, and stress levels
Strength Train – YES, I said you can strength train during your day. I have a program so that you can hit all the major muscle groups, move once an hour, and NOT sweat too much, at least not enough that you have to change your clothes.
Take the stairs whenever you can. – Stair climibing is a great way to get a cardio burst in throughout your day. Challenge yourself to run up, or take two at a time, or go up and down for a full 10min.
Check out the MET chart below. METs are a way we calculate energy expenditure. If you’d like to know your range I can figure it out for you, it’s based on weight and uses a an value of 1 for resting. As the METs get higher the harder the PA you are performing. As you can see from the chart there are many ways to incorporate physical activity into your daily work and life activites. You JUST might be doing more than you think you are already! There’s also a great chart at the CDC’s website: http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/physical/pdf/PA_Intensity_table_2_1.pdf
Rember to meet the guidelines you can break up the time – 3 /10min sessions still equals 30min in your daily activity counts.
And before you let the words “I can’t do those things because of my knee, my back, my hip, my kids, my ______ (or whatever)” STOP. Fine, don’t park by the bus stop. Park the next spot up from your normal spot and walk 10 steps more not 20. Don’t take the stairs if you feel more pain – pick something else to do. Focus on what you CAN do not what you can’t.
You never know, you just might find that by going slowly it doesn’t take long to do that thing you felt you’d never do. Step by Step – literally
Enjoy your parking and walking (aka spring) season!
Classification of Total Weekly Amounts of Aerobic Physical Activity Into Four Categories
|Levels of Physical Activity||Range of Moderate-Intensity Minutes a Week||Summary of Overall Health Benefits||Comment|
|Inactive||No activity beyond baseline||None||Being inactive is unhealthy.|
|Low||Activity beyond baseline but fewer than 150 minutes a week||Some||Low levels of activity are clearly preferable to an inactive lifestyle.|
|Medium||150 minutes to 300 minutes a week||Substantial||Activity at the high end of this range has additional and more extensive health benefits than activity at the low end.|
|High||More than 300 minutes a week||Additional||Current science does not allow researchers to identify an upper limit of activity above which there are no additional health benefits.|
Action is needed at the individual, community, and societal levels to help Americans become physically active.
- Inactive is no activity beyond baseline activities of daily living.
- Low activity is activity beyond baseline but fewer than 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity physical activity a week or the equivalent amount (75 minutes, or 1 hour and 15 minutes) of vigorous-intensity activity.
- Medium activity is 150 minutes to 300 (5 hours) minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week (or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity a week). In scientific terms, this range is approximately equivalent to 500 to 1,000 metabolic equivalent (MET) minutes a week.
- High activityis more than the equivalent of 300 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week.
Iowa CHAMPs Cardiac Rehabilitation Guide: Exercise: http://www.uihealthcare.com/topics/medicaldepartments/internalmedicine/champs/metchart.html
|Email this Page | We Welcome Your Comments | Site Index A-Z The University of Iowa | Copyright & Disclaimer Statements Printer Friendly page
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics 200 Hawkins Drive Iowa City, Iowa 52242
Last modification date: Mon Aug 7 13:11:14 2006 URL: http://www.uihealthcare.com /topics/medicaldepartments/internalmedicine/champs/metchart.html
| What’s New Year’s Resolutions have to do with Valentine’s Day, you ask????
Most have given up on their NYRs by V-Day – DON’T BE ONE OF THEM … Be the BEST you, YOU can be.
If you have kept at it and feel like your new health goal is finally beginning to feel like a new you – CONGRATULATIONSthis was the hardest part. Next stage is about keeping your commitment to yourself and moving into maintenance of your new habit until you forget you didn’t used to do it.
If you have fallen off your wagon – go catch the horse and get back on J, it’s not as hard as you think. You have already begun the process of change – your body and mind will remember. Getting back to it isn’t as hard as starting anew. Remember failures are part of the stepping stones to success. What did you learn by falling off?
So back to V-Day –What will you do to love yourself welltoday? For me: I worked out hard this morning and plan to enjoy some of today’s deliciousness (in moderation), my chocolate is well earned today!
Here’s to a healthier you in 2013!
*And if this seems way overwhelming come and talk with me. I can help you break it down into bite sized chunks.
It is important to set a realistic goal. On average fitness resolutioners hit it hard in January and burn out by Valentine’s Day. Here’s 5 questions to ask yourself and help make sure you’ve got the stamina to make it to at least Spring Break and beyond!
1) What is your big goal? (Be specific – I want to smoke/drink/watch TV less, I want to eat more healthy or to lose weight are too generic – What do those really mean? Break them down to specific ideas. I want to eat at least 3 balanced meals per day, smoke X amount/day, watch X hours of TV, exercise X times/week, etc)
- (Healthy weight loss is approx 1-2lbs/week. If you’ve got 50lbs to lose that’s a minimum of 25weeks – you didn’t put that weight on overnight and you won’t take it off that quickly either. Your body is smart and will do it’s best to maintain a sense of safety. Lose too fast and research shows it usually comes back on with vengeance)
2) What is one small step you can start doing this week to reach it? (To gain or lose we need to manipulate the caloric intake/output – this fits well within a weekly tracking goal)
3) Break it even smaller – what’s one step for today, tomorrow, the next to reach your weekly goal?
4) How many obstacles will get in your way? How will you overcome them? (Thinking through this helps you create a plan. You won’t figure them all out but you will be better able to handle them if you have given some thought to what will keep you from your goals.)
5) Why do you want this goal at this time? (This is your driving fuel. Important to spend some time figuring out your why – if it’s not your goal it’ll be much harder to maintain.)
We have all done it. Created a goal, started out strong, only to have our motivation leak out of us and suddenly go missing. Before we know it we’ve quit – we just stopped showing up. In June’s post we discussed “planting our garden”, now it’s time to weed it. In order to keep a garden healthy we must get rid of the plants that aren’t helping it grow.
Here are 5 ways to “weed your garden” and stay on track for your fitness and health goals.
- Look at your schedule for the last 3 weeks – determine what is soaking up your time, what you can cut out, and where you can schedule in workouts.
- Check out your eating habits – have you increased portions, need to get back to your journal, or eliminate the unhealthy choices from your cupboards. Do this now.
- Find a workout buddy – either in person or online – someone you can be accountable to and who can be honest with you about your workout and diet behaviors (in a supportive way). This will help as your motivation wanes next time.
- Do the above & recommit to yourself to yourself and your goals.
- Don’t beat yourself up – progress is measured not by how far you go without falling down, but how quickly you get back up after you do. Life happens and healthy living happens as a result of healthy choices every day. The important thing is to get back to it as quickly as possible!
So we are almost a month into your New Year’s Resolutions. How are you doing? Have you been able to make your daily and weekly goals? or Is you motivation waning and you have forgotten what had you so ready to take on this task? Here is 3 steps to getting back on track and keep yourself moving toward your goals.
Review what progress you have made – you did start something. Review what you have done even if it was only a day or a week. Recall how it felt to have accomplished that first day. Reflect on what was so motivating then.
If you didn’t write it down then. Write it down now.
What are you working towards?
What are you willing to do each day to accomplish it?
How long will it take you? (losing a pound / week is recommended for healthy lifestyle change)
What was your big obstacle? What caught you and kept you from reaching your goal so far? Was it your schedule? Was it support (or lack of it) from friends and family? This isn’t a place to find failure but learning. So look at what went wrong and make a decision about what you can do differently and start again. START AGAIN!!!
The path to success isn’t about never having set backs. It’s about how many times you have a set back and how you get back up. So if you have fallen off the New Year’s Resolution wagon this year. JUST get back on.